Friday, November 23, 2012

Ender's Shadow

Ender's Shadow is worth it. A parallel novel to Ender's Game, Shadow follows Ender's right-hand man, Bean, the tiny yet brilliant street-rat-turned-commander who subtly orchestrates the conditions necessary for Ender's success. Not as good a read as Ender, and it wouldn't make my Commander's List, but it's worth it if you're getting in to the Ender series at all.

Whereas it would take me multiple posts to analyze the gems of Ender's Game, Shadow left me with this one:

"...the same commanders now praised Ender behind his back and studied his battles to try to learn how to win, never realizing that you had to study Ender's training, not his battles, to understand his victories." 
And this one:

“They were career military, all of them. Proven officers with real ability. But in the military you don’t get trusted positions just because of your ability. You also have to attract the notice of superior officers. You have to be liked. You have to fit in with the system. You have to look like what the officers above you think that officers should look like. You have to think in ways that they are comfortable with. 
The result was that you ended up with a command structure that was top-heavy with guys who looked good in uniform and talked right and did well enough not to embarrass themselves, while the really good ones quietly did all the serious work and bailed out their superiors and got blamed for errors they had advised against until they eventually got out.”


What a great man. What a great movie. I hope that someone in Hollywood gets the idea in their head to just start going through all the great presidents and epic moments in our history. Go see this movie.

"Can we choose to be born? Are fitted to the ties we're born to?"

"A compass will always show you true north, but it will not show the mountains and swamps you'll encounter along the way. If following your compass leads you straight into a swamp, what good is knowing true north?"

Blog Burst

November continues to deliver on its promise to be one for the history books. For now I'll just add these two to the list:

10) Ender's Shadow
11) Lincoln
12) First (Northern) Lights

There's more to come for sure, especially since Cold Weather Leader's Course is coming up in a few days. AXIOS!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Eulogy of What is Real

Oh Cortana, Cortana.... Are you real? Are you alive? Where do electrical currents become a mind? A what point do a collection of behavioral patterns become a personality? Is self-aware the same as sentient? What, even, is alive?

You made us ask these questions. Your passing hit me as hard as any real life human being's. You connection to me was as real as anyone else's. I will miss your company like I would a true friend's. In the end, you gave yourself for the ones you loved. Or was it simply your purpose, programmed into you from inception?

 Either way, we thank you..

Friday, November 9, 2012


Bond movies make me want to jump up and start chasing people. SKYFALL is definitely entertaining, but Casino Royale remains a solid leader in the new trilogy of 007 films. The pace feels a bit wonky at times, but it has plenty of moments worth watching. And the villain was great.

Arctic Blossom

November 2012 will go down in the history books as a month of radical change. From summer to winter. From Sunshine Patriot to Arctic Warrior. Gold Bar to Black Bar. A reshuffling of priorities and day to day contrivances. For my own sake, I have included a list of what I'm talking about. You will probably be completely lost.

1) First Arctic Field Problem
2) Black to Gold
3) Forward Unto Dawn
4) First Alaska Winter
5) Phone Swap
6) Show Crush
7) Car Swap
8) Command Center Remodeling
9) Halcyon